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Thread: L&N MainStem, 1st & 2nd Subs. (Louisville to Nashville)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Jacksonville,, FL, USA.

    Default L&N MainStem, 1st & 2nd Subs. (Louisville to Nashville)


    I started on this line a week ago and have made passable progress having
    put Louisville at the North End and Nashville at the south end - those two
    "routes" are in the unfinished library section if others want to use them.

    The main line has now been extended south to the foot of Muldraugh's
    Hill which is the SB ruling grade of 1.3%.

    This line is a personal favorite of mine as my first introduction to the
    railroad was by way of my mother's oldest brother, a senior locomotive
    engineer on the line. Uncle Harry was high seniority freight roster and
    extra-board passenger at the time I was born, 1939, and by the time
    I had significant railfan interests, he was full time passenger. In Nov.
    1958, a month before he retired, my father secured me a pass to ride
    the engine from Nashville to Louisville. That was my first (of many)
    engine rides, although there would be no more until I went to work for
    the Southern in 1965. Uncle Harry had a profound affect on my
    approach to employment - I was a lot more serious than many about
    it, learned the operating rules, though it was not required, things like

    We could run some very colorful passenger trains on this line
    depending on the season. During the winter months, the South Wind
    had mostly ACL & PRR equipment, but in the later years, 1960 to
    Amtrak, a NP Dome Car appeared in the winter, and GN and UP
    sleepers were seen. Pooled power was used, so one trip would have
    PRR passenger diesels, usually E-7s, and another trip might have
    ACL power. The latter was usually E-7s also, and would be a A-B-A
    unit combination.

    Later we will do the Nashville to Chattanooga line, mostly circa 1955,
    so the Dixie Flagler, mostly stainless steel, would have GN or UP
    sleepers, but no dome account of clearances.

    Hint, any rolling stock repainters want to make ACL units?.

    Here we see a Southbound just after passing Lebanon Jct., about
    MP-30 out of Louisville. Mile 34 starts the 1.3% grade that extends
    to MP-38.8. Before 1914, there was a fearsome tunnel near the
    top & the line was single track. My uncle told me many stories about
    trains stalling in the tunnel and having to back down & out before the
    engine crew passed out. Major line changes were done around 1914,
    the grade was reduced at the expense of more curves, none greater
    than 6 degrees, and the tunnel, which still exists, was bypassed.

    Yes, that is a spelling error on the image, should be Lebanon Jct.

    J. H. Sullivan
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Delson, Quebec, Canada.


    Quote Originally Posted by landnrailroader View Post

    Hint, any rolling stock repainters want to make ACL units?.

    J. H. Sullivan
    Hi Jerry,

    Gaétan Bélanger, from BLW/ZT had made an ACL freight set following a request I have made to have one set done.
    At the time, I was working on an Activity Generator Template for Carey Steven's SAL v2 route. Although the trackage is mostly SAL, there is a good portion of ACL in this route.

    Also available is some ACL SD35's in the BLW SD35 pack.

    Here are the links to both packs' webpage and images


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Lubec ME USA


    Sounds interesting.

    Although not this particular line, I got acquainted with the L&N back in 1971 as a newly minted USAF second lieutenant, assigned to electronics school in Biloxi MS and living in a shared house on the L&N line that ran through town. My class ran from 6 AM to 12 Noon and there was a through freight that ran through about 5 AM that was our alarm clock, the house being only a few feet from the line, blasting its horn at the many grade crossings. The one advantage of an early class was we were done for the day at Noon so that left the afternoons free for railfanning. I spent a couple fun afternoons chasing the local freight which on occasion switched the industries in town with an ancient F unit. The crew was friendly to this Yankee and invited me to ride in the caboose on one occasion. Fond memories. As I recall the Biloxi passenger station still existed with its signboard still showing the schedule for the passenger trains which had disappeared on A-day a few months earlier.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Jacksonville,, FL, USA.

    Cool A little History

    As for the Biloxi station mentioned in the previous thread, it existed the last time I was
    through there on the Sunset Ltd., August 2005. It was damaged by Katrina but I
    believe it was repaired. However, the Sunset Ltd. did not return after Katrina.

    On the MainStem section that I am working on there are some famous places. Some
    by national history, some by railroad employee recollection.

    The big bridge over the Green River at Munfordville was attacked by Confederate
    Raiders more than once in the civil unrest of 1861-1865. No serious damage was
    done but loss of life on both sides was heavy. At the south end of the bridge there
    is a Confederate monument and much of the battlefield has been restored and is now
    a state park.

    Further south, just south of Park City is a cut near where I-65 passes over the railroad.
    Since about 1900 this has been referred to, and is well known by railroaders, as "Boot
    Cut". Seems there was a derailment and in those days of wooden cars, a lot of freight
    was spilled, and the freight - why Kentucky's famous bourbon whiskey which filled the
    ditches on both sides of the track. Workmen scooped up this nectar of the Gods in
    their boots and I seriously doubt much work was done. Eventually the wreck was
    cleared but to this day, the location is known as "boot cut".

    There are two areas on this subdivision referred to "running ground". The track from
    a few miles north of Cave City to a few miles south is straight except for a short
    0-degree, 20-minute "zig". A late passenger train in steam days when speed depended
    on the engineer's nerve could make up several minutes. The E-7 & E-6 series of later
    years had recorders & governors, so serious making up time was less likely. Then
    from north of Salmons, KY to Franklin, KY there is another straight stretch of several

    Jerry Sullivan
    Jacksonville, FL
    Docent, C&TS RR

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Jacksonville,, FL, USA.


    Those are nice, but what I have in mind is passenger equipment. One would also need PRR passenger
    equipment including the square end observation cars of the type used on the Broadway Ltd. As far
    as I know, the observation cars on the SouthWind might have been hand-me-downs from the the
    Broadway. The train also had PRR twin-unit dining cars. These were not articulated but the two
    cars were more or less permanently connected by drawbars and when you were seated in the
    dining room car, there was no vestibule between it and the kitchen car, and the opening was almost
    full. So on a curve, you got the odd sight of the kitchen car swinging one way or the other. There
    was a stabilized round plate in the floor which was centered over the center of the opening between
    the cars. Quite a sight. I rode the SW northbound, Nashville to Chicago twice, and southbound

    J. H. Sullivan

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Jacksonville,, FL, USA.

    Cool Additional items


    Originally there were four branches and one mainline off the mainstem. The Bardstown
    branch departed the mainline about mile 22 and extended east for several miles with the
    main town being Bardstown. Most of this branch still exists and is operated by R.J.Corman.
    The Lebanon branch was really a secondary main line, signaled, that extended from
    Lebanon Jct. to Sinks, KY connecting the mainstem with the Cincinnati-Corbin line. Most
    of this was abandoned by 1980, but there is still a remnant that extends east to New Haven
    where the Kentucky Railroad Museum is located and there are some industries. I am not
    sure who operates the branch for freight.

    The Glasgow RR was not owned by the L&N but the L&N supplied motive power and personnel,
    I assume for a fee. This branch is now part of CSX and serves several industries in Glasgow
    which is about 10 miles east of the main line at Park City. My mother grew up in Glasgow.
    Then there was the Memphis line, a main line in it's own right which extended from Memphis
    Jct., just south of Bowling Green some 250+ miles to Memphis. This line is mostly abandoned
    but the eastern 100 miles or so is operated by R.J.Corman. so the junction & industries around
    Memphis Jct. will be included.

    Lastly there was another railroad which extended from Gallatin, TN to Scottsville, KY that
    eventually was part of the L&N. It is now completely abandoned except that at the south
    end a mile or two is part of a branch to the Gallatin Steam Plant (TVA, now abandoned).

    I am including all existing trackage & industries as mentioned. Also, I have employee
    timetables & public tables of the line so I will include pertinent parts as .pdf files in a
    documents directory. As I have said a number of times, I am not into activities, but this
    route ought to occupy those that are for quite a while. Then the passenger trains will
    be a challenge. Everything from the Non-Stop SouthWind, to the many stops night
    local, basically a mail train. My mother used to say that it, and a morning local called
    the "Eastern Express" stopped at every pig path.

    One activity might involve the unit coal train that ran for several years from western
    KY to the Gallatin plant. It would arrive at Amqui on the Henderson Sub. for which I
    have included a couple miles of track. At Amqui, the power would run around the
    train and then a new crew would take it to the Gallatin Steam plant. This went on for
    several years.

    J. H. Sullivan

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